Bishops of Lindisfarne - List

Lindisfarne is considered the cradle of Christianity in Northern Britain. King Oswald had become a christian while exiled amongst the scots berst Cuthin what is now West Scotland. After Oswald defeated the Mercians at the battle of Hefenfeld (or Heavenfield) in 634 or 635AD, he re-established Christianity as the "state" religion. "Irish" monks under the energetic Aidan set up a monastery on the island in about 635 or 636AD. This led to a veritable northern enlightenment. Aidan was followed by a series of charismatic bishops who presided over, and contributed to the Golden Age of Northumbria, writing and illuminating the famous Lindisfarne Gospels as well as sending out missionaries to many parts of northern Europe. Many of those missionaries became saints also.

Use this chronological list of bishops for reference purposes.

Bishops of Lindisfarne 635 - 995AD (and Feast Days)

635 - St Aidan (31st August)

651 - St Finan (17th February)

661 - St Colman (18th February)

664 - St Tuda (21st October)

664 - St Wilfrid (24th April or 12th October)

678 St Eata (26th October)

685 - St Cuthbert (20th March)

688 - St Eadberht (6th May)

698 - AD - St Eadfrith (4th June)

721 - St Aethelwold (12th February)

740 - Cynewulf

780 - Higbald

803 - Egbert

821 - Egfrid

845 - Eanbert

854 - Eardulf

The monks of Lindisfarne abandoned the island in 875, as being too vulnerable to Danish raids. In 882 Eardulf settled in the area now called Chester-le-Street, near Durham, and based the bishopric there.

The Bishops of Lindisfarne at Chester-le Street were:

882 Eardulf

900 Cutheard

915 Tilred

928 Wilgred

944 Uchtred

947 Sexhelm

947 Aldred

968 Aelfsige, Bishop of St Cuthbert

990 Aldhun, Bishop of St Cuthbert

In 995 Aldhun decided to re-establish the see at Lindisfarne, but on the way he had a vision advising him to lay the body of St Cuthbert to rest in Durham. From this point the see of Lindisfarne was amalgamated into Durham, and the title was renamed as the Bishop of Durham.

Short Note on Saints' days

Not all saints are recognised by all Christian churches which recognise sainthood. More confusingly, different churches designate a different day of the year as the saints' day of the same saint. Even different branches of the same church may designate a different day. Also some saints have more than one day designated as their saints' day. For example, St Wilfrid has two designated days, and St Cuthbert's day is celebrated in England on 20th March, but the Episcopal Church in the USA celebrates it on 31st August.

Feeling confused? It must make sense to elders of the various churches, but its quite beyond this poor scribe!